War Makes the State, but Not as It Pleases: Homeland Security and American Anti-Statism

Matthew Kroenig, Jay Stowsky
2006 Security Studies  
The shock of war is thought to be closely associated with the growth of the state, in the United States and elsewhere. Yet each proposal to significantly expand state power in the United States since September 11 has been resisted, restrained, or even rejected outright. This outcome-theoretically unexpected and contrary to conventional wisdom-is the result of enduring aspects of America's domestic political structure: the separation of powers at the federal level between three co-equal and
more » ... apping branches, the relative ease with which interest groups access the policy-making process, and the intensity with which executive-branch bureaucracies guard their organizational turf. These persistent aspects of U.S. political life, designed by the nation's founders to impede the concentration of state power, have substantially shaped the means by which contemporary guardians of the American state pursue "homeland security." War does make the state, but not as it pleases. Theoretical approaches to state building should recognize that domestic political institutions mediate between the international shock of war and domestic state building.
doi:10.1080/09636410600829489 fatcat:2hzlkudijzezbcrw3sxat4z3fi